Expanding Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Students
May 21, 2019
by Jere W. Morehead, President
Students at the University of Georgia have more opportunities than ever to turn their research into commercial products and pursue their own startup ventures.
UGA now has two spaces on campus dedicated to student innovation and entrepreneurship. The Student Entrepreneurship Center, known as Studio 225, provides a focal point for UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program. It includes spaces where students can work through business plans and pitch ideas to potential investors as well as maker space, study nooks, and more. UGA’s certificate programs in entrepreneurship, which are open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors, have grown from 33 students in 2015 to more than 420 students in 2018–19.
The Launch Pad, which opened last fall in Creswell Hall, is a living-learning community for first-year students and features amenities, such as a 3-D printer, that promote productivity and interaction among residents. Launch Pad residents also participate in a First-Year Odyssey Seminar on entrepreneurship and meet regularly with successful entrepreneurs to gain additional insights and guidance. The program was received with such enthusiasm in its initial year that it has been expanded to accommodate up to 40 students in 2019–20.
Dawg Camp Innovate, which launches this summer, will offer incoming first-year students a weeklong experience that blends student success and leadership programs with entrepreneurship education to create an exciting transition to college life. Additional programs such as I-Corps, Idea Accelerator, and UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur also are helping students translate their research and ideas into viable products. As we continue developing the Innovation District, our strength in these areas will grow even more.
At the University of Georgia, we are creating the next generation of leaders whose discoveries, inventions, and businesses will change the world.